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Hints, Tips and Solutions (Do NOT post requests for help here) If you have any useful general hints and tips for vintage technology repair and restoration, please share them here. PLEASE DO NOT POST REQUESTS FOR HELP HERE!

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Old 7th Nov 2013, 11:56 pm   #41
alanworland
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Default Re: Remove those batteries when out of use!

In 1982 I made a fuse tester using a small buzzer powered by a Duracell PP3 which I sealed in a transparent case.
Still works well although I can see a bit of 'fur' developing around one of the terminals but it is 31 years old!


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Old 8th Nov 2013, 11:31 am   #42
G6Tanuki
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Default Re: Remove those batteries when out of use!

Quote:
Originally Posted by alanworland View Post
In 1982 I made a fuse tester using a small buzzer powered by a Duracell PP3 which I sealed in a transparent case.
Still works well although I can see a bit of 'fur' developing around one of the terminals but it is 31 years old! Alan
I was always taught that batteries leak once they are discharged (this may well be a 'factoid' from the days of zinc-carbon cells in bike-lamps etc where the zinc outer casing was actively consumed during the electricity-generating process.).

It could be that your PP3 has seen little if any actual discharge so the leak-initiating chemistry hasn't yet happened very much. I've had PP3s in things like clocks and smoke-alarms start oozing after a couple of years even though their "use-by" date is still some time away.
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Old 11th Nov 2013, 4:22 pm   #43
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Default Re: Remove those batteries when out of use!

This specimen is around 30 years old and a Japanese old true Leclanche/zinc pot job in a plastic sleeve and, despite having the texture of 'pebble-dashing' due to underlying corrosion, hasn't leaked at all. Just removed from service because of this thread and inspection of all undisturbed batteries - this from a lightly used calculator - e.m.f. still 1.5 V BUT 40mV when confronted with a flashlight bulb!
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Old 11th Nov 2013, 9:06 pm   #44
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Default Re: Remove those batteries when out of use!

Not all Ever Ready batteries survive 30 years intact, I recently removed a pair of PP7's from a Regentone Transistor radio. Quite possibly the worst condition batteries I have ever found!

Also had a near miss with some cheap 'Max Energy' C batteries that leaked a week after I took them out of a cycle lamp, just as well they weren't still in my Philips multimeter.
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Old 14th Nov 2013, 8:17 pm   #45
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Default Re: Remove those batteries when out of use!

I just noted the voltage was down on the Grundig EB209. The Duracell Procells (expiry date Mar 2012) had just started to leak, although I am lucky the plated contacts
are not damaged after cleaning (I am using the 6 x C holder with PP9 snaps that was available from Roberts a few years back)
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Old 24th Nov 2013, 4:20 pm   #46
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Default Re: Remove those batteries when out of use!

Slightly OT but may be of interest.

I mentioned earlier using Panasonic "Zinc Chloride" batteries as a new regime in clocks and remotes etc with a view to replacing them yearly. Compared to an alkaline cell these feel very lightweight indeed and I was curious as to how good they might really be.

I use a Microsoft Bluetrack mouse and it gets several hours a day use on its single AA cell. I never switch it off either. A Duracell has lasted as long as two calendar months. Varta Alkalines seem to pan out at 5 to 7 weeks. The Panasonic "cheapo" at 10 for 0.99 has lasted 16 days and although the battery warning light has appeared its still performing well. I would say its lasted well based on the fact that alkalines are advertised as lasting 6-7 times longer than "ordinary" batteries.
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Old 24th Nov 2013, 4:33 pm   #47
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Default Re: Remove those batteries when out of use!

All alkalines should feel significantly heavier than zinc chlorides of the same size - this is just down to the different chemistry regardless of construction quality.

The Panasonics are reasonable quality and I've not had one leak. I think they're made in the same Polish factory as the Sony zinc chlorides sold in Poundland, and they may be identical.
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Old 24th Nov 2013, 5:32 pm   #48
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Default Re: Remove those batteries when out of use!

Comparison gets complicated by different behaviours at different discharge rates. The 'Alkaline' cells really come into their own with heavy loads, and at slower discharge rates the pecking order of some cells can swap places.

You can rely on battery manufacturers picking the rate which shows their product in the best light, though

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Old 24th Nov 2013, 5:37 pm   #49
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Default Re: Remove those batteries when out of use!

Alkalines can be a good choice for some low discharge applications simply because their shelf life is longer, but that's no advantage if they leak all over the place of course.
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Old 24th Nov 2013, 5:41 pm   #50
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Default Re: Remove those batteries when out of use!

There are also 1.5v lithium cells which have exceptionally long shelf lives, high capacity, and they are particularly treasured by photographers because they function better than other types at low temperatures.

Unfortunately, the prices are also exceptional.

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Old 28th Nov 2013, 10:05 pm   #51
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Default Re: Remove those batteries when out of use!

An ironic message from the battery holder of one of my CT471s as found...
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Old 28th Nov 2013, 10:24 pm   #52
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Default Re: Remove those batteries when out of use!

Ha ha!

I opened up a 1960s Wheatstone Bridge contraption my dad had used at university and found two Ray-O-Vac HP11s inside in a similar state, each of which proclaimed itself to be "Leakproof" too.

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Old 30th Nov 2013, 3:04 pm   #53
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Default Re: Remove those batteries when out of use!

I think we've got the message, even if it does catch us out now and again.
Consumable batteries are pretty obvious, but there can be others hidden away inside (eg backup) so if you're going to put something into storage take care.
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